This article originally appeared on MakeTheConnection.net.
For some, 4th of July brings to mind the smell of burgers on the grill or the celebratory fireworks lighting up the night sky. But for some Veterans, typical Independence Day celebrations include reminders that trigger uneasiness and discomfort. We’ve gathered a few pointers to help make this 4th of July enjoyable for all — especially those who have served our country in the military.
For Veterans: Planning Ahead You can let your family and friends know if something makes you feel uncomfortable. Recognizing your triggers ahead of time can help avoid bigger problems down the road. Common symptoms experienced around July 4th may include: Light sensitivity to fireworks and sparklers, especially at night Sound irritability from fireworks and ceremonial gun and cannon fire Uneasiness or feeling on edge in crowds Flashbacks due to sounds or smells Check out stories from other Veterans who found treatment for light or noise irritation here. Practice a few self-help tips or relaxation exercises to relieve feelings of uneasiness. For friends or family: Paying Attention If you are hosting a 4th of July party or picnic, you can ask ahead of time if any Veterans you invite have difficulty around the holiday. It doesn’t hurt to ask. Consider safe alternatives to your typical Independence Day celebrations. For example, if a Veteran friend or family member is alarmed by the loud sound of fireworks, you can suggest that your group use sparklers instead.
For Mike, featured in the video below, and other Veterans who are sensitive